Have you ever seen the battery light on in your car and wondered how long you could drive before the battery died? This can be a scary experience, especially if you’re not sure what it means. In this article, we will discuss what the battery light means, what causes the battery light to come on, and what you can do to fix it.
We will also cover some tips for keeping your battery healthy and prolonging its life. If your car’s battery light comes on, don’t panic! There are several things you can do to try to fix the problem.
Table of Contents
What Does the Battery Light Turning On Mean?
The battery light is a little light that is usually located on the dashboard of your car. It is usually shaped like a battery or has a picture of one. When this light comes on, it means that there is an issue with the charging system in your car.
It is a protective measure put in place by the car’s manufacturer, designed to prevent damage to your electrical system. When the battery light comes on, it means that the voltage in your car’s battery is low, and you’ll need to get your car checked out by a mechanic right away.
How Long Can You Drive With Your Battery Light On?
Now that you understand what the battery light means, what could be causing it to come on, and what you can do about it, you may still be wondering one last question: how long you can drive with it on?
The answer to this question is not very long. If your battery light is on, you should take action immediately.
It is possible that you could drive for a little while if the cause is something very minor, but it isn’t a risk worth taking. You are better off immediately pulling over, contacting a nearby mechanic, and asking them for their recommendation on the best move forward. Then get it to a repair shop as soon as possible so that you aren’t stranded by the side of the road.
What Causes the Battery Light to Come On?
There are several things that can cause the light to come on. For example, this situation could be caused by a dead battery, loose battery cables, a corroded battery terminal, or a damaged battery.
It could also be caused by a bad alternator, a broken serpentine belt, or a blown fuse. If the battery light is on, it means that there is an issue with one of these electrical components in your car.
Let’s take a look at each of these possible causes.
1. Dead Battery
One of the most common reasons for the battery light to come on is a dead battery. If your battery is dead, it means that it is no longer able to hold a charge. This could be caused by a number of things, including old age, corrosion, or damage.
To test if your battery is dead, you can use a multimeter. First, make sure that your car is turned off. Then, open the hood and locate the battery. Once you’ve found it, use the multimeter to test the battery’s voltage.
You will have to set the multimeter to about 15 to 20 volts, and then hook the multimeter up to the positive and negative battery terminals. After that, you can read the voltage. If the reading is less than 12 volts or so, then your battery is most likely dead or dying and will need to be replaced.
2. Loose Battery Cables
Another common reason for the battery light to come on is loose battery cables. If your battery cables are loose, it means that they are not making a good connection with the battery. This can happen if the clamps are loose or if the battery terminals are corroded.
To fix this problem, you’ll need to open the hood and locate the battery. Once you’ve found it, check the clamps to make sure that they are tight. If they are loose, tighten them with a wrench.
3. Corroded Battery Terminals
If your battery terminals are corroded, or if you have a corroded battery cable, it means that there is a buildup of sulfuric acid on them. This can happen if the battery is old or if you live in an area with high humidity.
Thankfully, this is not an expensive ordeal. To clean your battery terminals, you’ll need to open the hood and locate the battery. Once you have located it, you’ll need to clean them off with a wire brush or some pliers.
You can also try using a battery terminal cleaner or some baking soda and water to clean the terminals. If this was indeed the problem, then your battery should work fine once the corrosion is cleaned off. If it still doesn’t work, then there is another reason why.
4. Damaged Battery
A damaged battery is another possible cause of the battery light coming on. This can happen if the battery is old, has been damaged in an accident, or has been used too much.
If you think that your battery might be damaged, you’ll need to take it to a mechanic or a repair shop to have it checked out.
5. Bad Alternator
Then there is a bad alternator. An alternator is a device that charges the battery while the engine is running. If your alternator is bad, it means that it is not charging the battery correctly.
This can be caused by a number of things, including a blown fuse, damaged brushes, or a loose serpentine belt.
If you think that your alternator might be bad, you’ll need to take it to a mechanic or a repair shop to have it replaced.
6. Broken Serpentine Belt
A broken serpentine belt is another possible cause of the battery light coming on. The serpentine belt is a belt that goes around all of the pulleys in the engine. If it breaks, it can cause the alternator to stop working.
If you think that your serpentine belt might be broken, you’ll need a new one. It is advisable to take your vehicle to a mechanic or repair shop to look into it.
7. Blown Fuse
A blown fuse is another possible cause of the battery light coming on. If there is a problem with the electrical system in your car, it can cause the fuse to blow.
If you think that your fuse might be blown, you’ll need to take it to a mechanic or a repair shop to have it replaced.
What Can You Do If the Battery Light Comes On?
If your battery light comes on, the first thing you should do is turn off any electrical components that you are not using. This includes the air conditioning, the radio, and the headlights.
Then, you’ll need to open the hood and locate the battery. Once you’ve found it, check to see if there is any corrosion on the battery terminals. If there is, clean it off with a wire brush or some pliers.
If the battery terminals are clean and there is no corrosion, then you’ll need to check the battery cables. Make sure that they are tight and that there is no damage to them.
If everything looks okay with the battery and cables, then you’ll need to check the charging system. This includes things like the alternator and voltage regulator.
If you think that there might be a problem with the charging system, you’ll need to take your car to a mechanic or a repair shop. They will be able to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs.
How to Maintain A Healthy Battery
There are a few things that you can do to maintain a healthy battery.
- make sure that the battery terminals are clean and free of corrosion.
- check the battery cables regularly for damage.
- keep an eye on the charging system and make sure that it is working properly.
- keep your battery charged.
By following these simple tips, you can help to extend the life of your battery and avoid costly repairs.
Conclusion for How Long Can You Drive with Your Battery Light On
How long can you drive with your battery light on? It’s a question that a lot of drivers ask, and we did our best to thoroughly answer that question in this blog post.
The battery light is an important indicator in your car. It can come on for a variety of reasons, some of which are serious and some of which are not. If the battery light comes on, you should take action immediately to figure out the cause and make sure that it is fixed.
Driving with the battery light on is not something that you should do. If you do, you run the risk of being stranded by the side of the road with a dead battery. It is much better to be safe than sorry, so if your battery light comes on, make sure to take care of it right away!
Have you ever had a car battery die on you suddenly? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!